First came schools, next came the military. Four months after the U.S. Department of Education withdrew guidance aimed at protecting transgender students’ rights to use the bathrooms of their choice, President Trump this week tweeted a surprise announcement that banned transgender people from serving in the military.
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
The president’s latest attack on the LGBTQ community flies in the face of common decency toward the estimated 16,000 transgender troops currently serving our country. Research also tells us that the majority of Americans have supported equal job opportunities for gays and lesbians for at least 40 years. ACS has advocated for Trans rights and in March, convened thought leaders around the country to discuss the challenges LGBTQ people continue to face.
Without further details from the White House, it's hard to predict the political and policy implications of the ban. In fact, the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the press that there will be no change in policy for now. It’s no wonder since Trump didn’t bother to inform the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the transgender ban was coming. On Capitol Hill, some of the president’s GOP allies are questioning his move. Meanwhile, his action has left transgender troops in limbo.